Pros: Let's see.....Holden is cute and the dogs look good
Cons: Forced comedy; Lame story; Weak acting
What happens when a dog is left a huge inheritance by his owner? Some things, like resentment and family squabbles, are inevitable. Much chaos will result and family members will try to contest the deceased persons will and have it overturned. Depending on the size of the inheritance some family members will go to extremes to get their hands on the money. This is exactly what happens in this movie, Baileys Billions, a family comedy about a wealthy canine.
Director: David Devine
Screenplay/Writing Credits: Heather Conkie, Mary Walsh
Theatrical Release Date: August 5, 2005
Movie Length: 93 Minutes
Starring: Tim Curry, Jennifer Tilly, Max Baker, Dean Cain, Laurie Holden, Eugene Lupinski, Sheila McCarthy, Kenneth Welsh, Jon Lovitz (Voice), Munro Chambers, Angela Vallee, Jackie Burroughs
Contents of This Movie:
Constance Pennington (played by Jackie Burroughs) is a wealthy woman and the CEO of an animal rights operation known as AARF. She is an eccentric woman with many loves in her life, chief among them her golden retriever named Bailey. When she suddenly dies one day, she leaves behind a video of herself, explaining exactly how she would like to have her wealth distributed. To the shock of everyone, she leaves almost all of her fortune to her dog, Bailey, makes him the CEO of AARF, and entrusts his care to Ted Maxwell (played by Dean Cain) a man who is an expert at animal communication.
Constances nephew Caspar Pennington (played by Tim Curry) is outraged that his aunt left her fortune to her pooch and his wife Delores (played by Jennifer Tilly) is equally annoyed. With her greedy husband by her side, she is prepared to do whatever she can to get her hands on this inheritance. They decide to plot against Bailey by dognapping him and keeping him held inside a cage in their makeshift puppy mill. But AARF employee Marge Maggs (played by Laurie Holden), along with Ted and Marges daughter Samantha (played by Angela Vallee) are determined to foil the plot and bring Bailey back to his rightful home.
Baileys Billions is a silly family comedy about a dog who suddenly finds himself rich beyond imagination when his owner leaves him the bulk of her billion- plus dollar inheritance. Once the news is announced by the owner herself via a video, two of the other family members who expected to receive a much larger sum of money than they did proceed to develop a plot to get rid of Bailey and get the inheritance for themselves- a typical reaction and a typical direction for a movie with this type of plot to take.
The plot of this movie is a simple one and it never moves very far beyond a few silly laughs and a few stupid gags. To add a little more to the entertainment, Bailey and the other dogs in the movie actually talk and their mouths move in a manner that is similar to a humans mouth. Jon Lovitz supplies the voice for Bailey and the things Bailey says are usually sarcastic when he is talking about the people around him. Baileys tone changes a little bit when his eyes are cast upon a cute female pooch, turning him into a smooth talking canine with a taste for romance. But other than that, his wit is sarcastic and more often than not, it isnt very humorous or very clever.
Performances in this movie are average at best, below average at worst.
The only performers that are worth any mention at all are Dean Cain and Laurie Holden. They are believable in their roles, even if they both seem a little awkward. Part of the plot of this movie is a budding romance between the shy, nerdy Cain and the more confident, self- assured Holden. This doesnt really play much into the main plot of the film and it probably could have been excluded. But Holden is at least cute enough to make these scenes tolerable.
Other performances are not so memorable. The members of the greedy couple trying to get Baileys money- played by Tim Curry and Jennifer Tilly- perform poorly and even though they are two of the key people in the movie, they add little to it because they both seem so fake. And Jennifer Tillys character is annoying to the max because of her constant chattering. She doesnt know when to take a cue from her husband or others around her and shut her big mouth. The lame attempts at comedy are forced, and even the attempts at wit by the dogs are stupid- the type of comedy anyone over seven years of age would find lame. I found myself shaking my head more than anything, wondering what the director was thinking when he created this mess.
The idea behind this movie isnt anything original but it could have still been successful with a little more details and a more believable plot and cast. Instead, the director tried to keep this movie more on the juvenile side and in doing so, he ruined most any chance for it becoming a memorable motion picture. The rating on this movie is NR, but I have also seen it listed with a G rating. Even with a G rating, the directing could have been done in a way that would make the film more interesting without being offensive. But David Devine took the easy way out, keeping the film silly and shallow with nothing very memorable.
I like dogs and I often enjoy movies that feature dogs in the main roles. But Baileys Billions is a flop- a film that manages to make a breed of dog as likeable as a golden retriever seem annoying and that succeeds only in its efforts to keep the viewer from falling asleep with an occasional bark from Bailey or one of his furry friends. This is a film to avoid.